Don Anderson


Don Anderson

Honorary Award for Service to Grand Haven Area Public Schools

Although his high school years were not spent in Grand Haven, Don Anderson’s leadership helped Grand Haven students realize success in their educational journey.

Don served as the vice principal for Grand Haven High School from 1968 to 1994. During his years of service, he was regarded as a fair disciplinarian and counselor to the student body who affectionately called him “Ace.” Even after retiring in 1994, he later returned to serve as interim principal of GHHS.

Outside his administrative role, Don coached track and launched the Grand Haven High School cross country program. In fact, a cross country invitational is held in his honor each year. When he wasn’t coaching, Don also lent his voice to the announcement of Buccaneer football games.

Don has supported his community through serving on the board of the Ottawa County School Employees Credit Union, Lake Trust Credit Union’s advisory board, and as an elder for his church. Furthering his legacy of support for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Don was a founding member and board member for the Grand Haven Schools Foundation.

Sandy Huber


Sandy Huber

Honorary Award for Service to Grand Haven Area Public Schools

For nearly fifty years, Sandy Huber has valiantly served and spoken on behalf of the youth in Grand Haven. As a special education teacher, and later an administrator, Sandy’s career with Grand Haven Area Public Schools spanned over thirty years (1974-2005). While teaching and leading, Sandy demonstrated her passion for life-long learning by earning two master’s degrees, one in special education and one in educational leadership. Known for her tireless commitment and willingness to challenge everyone to do “what was best” for students, her interest in the wellbeing of her students poured over into her free time as a volunteer and community leader.

Sandy’s service to the Grand Haven community has included board and committee roles with the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, the Grand Haven Schools Foundation, C.H.I.L.L., Tri-Cities Kiwanis, Greater Ottawa County United Way, S.C.O.R.E., Extended Grace, League of Women Voters, Lakeshore Environmental Education Program, and many others. Programs improving health, education, transportation, and countless other basic needs for Grand Haven students and residents have been developed and furthered through Sandy’s volunteerism and support. She is recognized by her oft-spoken response, “For you, the world,” a testament to her willingness to give her all to her neighbors and community.

Roger Jonas

Honorary Award for Service to GHAPS

Roger JonasAlthough Roger Jonas never attended Grand Haven Public Schools, he bleeds Buccaneer.

Roger personifies the term “parent involvement.” His volunteer work often coincided with his daughters’ school activities.

Roger’s years of service to GHAPS launched in 1982 when his twin daughters started kindergarten at Ferrysburg Elementary School. He served as co-chair of the Ferrysburg/Lake Hills PTA for five years, then became involved with the Odyssey of the Mind/Destination Imagination program, serving as a regional, state and world competition judge and regional tournament director for 16 years.

His history of helping includes volunteering for band and orchestra events and becoming a member of the Buc Boosters.

After supporting one of his own daughter’s Science Olympiad teams, he coached for eight years, attending all regional, state and national competitions.

Roger served on the GHAPS Board of Education from 1994-1998 and on the building committee for the present high school. He has worked on numerous school millage campaigns and as co-chair of the recent technology and energy upgrades bond proposals.

As a board member and president of the Grand Haven Schools Foundation, he helped build momentum and raise funds. He was a key cog in establishing the Hall of Fame program in 2008.

He has also worked in the Rotary Strive and College Mentoring programs.

Larson, Ken

Honorary Award for Service to Grand Haven Area Public Schools

Ken-LarsonAs an educator for Grand Haven Area Public Schools, Ken Larson touched countless lives. His teaching career in Grand Haven spanned from 1967 to his retirement in 2000, and the impact he left will enhance generations to come.

Larson taught seventh and eighth-grade General Science, ninth-grade Conservation/Environmental Education, eighth-grade Outdoor Education, New
Directions for At Risk Children and Remedial Science for those with special needs. His list of accomplishments includes being an initial member of the Middle School teaching team that brought Middle School education concepts to Grand Haven. He established age-appropriate Junior High enrichment classes to replace study halls in the 1970s, and established the GHAPS Science Olympiad program at the Junior High. He designed and developed an Adventure Center that incorporated team-building activities and indoor challenges that included the first rock climbing wall in a West Michigan School, and established a real time remote TV-8 weather collection station at the Junior High.

Among his lasting legacies is his establishment of the Outdoor Recreation Program, an enrichment program that evolved into the Outdoor Education Program, and a Junior High Nature Center and Arboretum.  The recipient of many awards and honors, Ken received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Michigan State University. He and his wife live in Grand Haven.

Brinks, Dale

Honorary Award for Service to Grand Haven Area Public Schools

Dale-Brinks002Dale Brinks taught Honors ninth-grade English, Advanced American Literature, Advanced Journalism, Advanced Composition, Language and Yearbook during his 1964 to 2000 tenure at Grand Haven High School.He also became the Bucs’ Blade school newspaper advisor in 1977. Under his leadership, the paper received the National Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown Award and the Columbia Scholastic Press Silver Crown Award. Bucs’ Blade was also inducted in the Michigan Interscholastic Press Association Hall of Fame and the National Scholastic Press Association Hall of Fame. In 2000, he was given the Grand Haven Area Public Schools Excellence in Service Award.

Brinks holds degrees from Hope College, Western Michigan University and earned graduate credits from Wayne State University.  He and his wife live in Grand Haven.

Bennink, Carroll

Honorary Award for Service to Grand Haven Area Public Schools

benninkFor 32 years, from 1964-96, Carroll Bennink taught in Grand Haven schools, primarily as an eighth-grade Social Studies instructor. He also taught seventh-grade Social Studies and eighth-grade English.

Also well known as a coach, he served as the ninth-grade football Assistant Coach, then as Head Coach, for a total of 22 years. In addition, he coached boys’ and girls’ Junior High track for 13 years and varsity girls’ track for 19. He also led girls varsity cross country for one year.

Under Carroll’s leadership, the varsity girls’ track team won the regionals twice and once placed fifth at the State level. Six of his athletes received All State honors, and one qualified for the Olympic Training Camp. His teams won many awards and honors at invitational and conference meets, and members of his teams were those who set most of the school’s records, many of which still stand.

He was the 1988 Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Track Coach of the Year, was selected by students to win the Excellence in Education Award five times, and is the recipient of the 1996 Excellence in Service Award given by Grand Haven Area Public Schools. He and his wife reside in Spring Lake.

Flahive, Craig

Honorary Achievement for Contributions to GHAPS

Flahive002Craig is being honored posthumously. He distinguished himself as a trombone player and won a four year music scholarship to Michigan State University where he played in the marching band.

After teaching in Montague, he was hired by GHAPS to teach music. He was a band and orchestra teacher for 26 years before retiring in 1996. A large number of Craig’s students went on to study music at some of the finest colleges and universities. Many of his nominations came from former students who credit and praise Craig for his passion, high standards, humor and ability to bring out the best in everyone. A few of those thoughts follow:

“Mr. Flahive’s dedication to his students, his commitment to excellence, and his inspiring presence made us all want to be better.”

“His ability to encourage students to perform beyond their known abilities is unmatched.”

“…he was able to inspire an appreciation of music in those around him simply by allowing them to see the music in him.”

For over twenty years, Craig helped with the Fourth of July and the Coast Guard Festival pyrotechnic shows on Dewey Hill. He introduced special music to the festival shows which would be choreographed with various shells to create a unique fireworks experience. That legacy has produced one of the state’s premier fireworks displays.

Poel, Dr. Larry

Honorary Achievement for Contributions to GHAPS

Poel007Larry Poel has been the Grand Haven High School team physician for over 35 years. He graduated from Ferris State University with a degree in pharmacy and then attended Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Larry completed his internship at Metropolitan Hospital in Grand Rapids.

He opened the West Michigan Sports & Rehab Clinic in 1983 and directs its operations.

Larry has devoted countless hours of his own time to thousands of athletes and coaches. He can be spotted on the sidelines or in the gym giving special attention to any athlete in need. He demonstrates an exceptional level of expertise, commitment, and passion toward sports medicine. His presence is felt and appreciated by all.

In 2001, he received an Honorary Member Award from the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association. In 2004, he was inducted into the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame. Larry received the GHAPS Excellence in Education Award in 2005 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame and Hall of Honor by the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan.